We believe that those who are most directly impacted need to have a seat at the table. Our members know their neighborhoods best and can define the best way to create a healthy, sustainable community. We work with local residents to identify the issue; define the most effective solutions; and develop and directly advocate for those policies.
A history of poor and discriminatory land use practices has put the majority of polluting industries in the backyards of the most disenfranchised local communities, right next to homes and schools. Consequently, low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to suffer from exposure to toxic chemicals, leading to higher rates of asthma, birth defects and cancers.
Equitable land use planning is now more likely to become a reality through SB 1000, “The Planning for Healthy Communities Act”, authored by Senator Connie Leyva and co-sponsored by the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) in 2016. Under SB 1000, cities and counties are required to adopt an Environmental Justice element, or integrate EJ-related policies, objectives, and goals throughout other elements of their General Plan. The bill also includes a process for communities to become meaningfully involved in the decision-making processes that govern land use planning in their neighborhoods.
Our partners at CEJA have developed an SB1000 Toolkit which you can download here.